02 Mar How to Remove a Sticker from Plastic
Getting stickers off of plastic seems like it should be much easier than it is. You can simply try to pull the sticker off, but it may stay partially intact or leave residue. This is because many leading manufacturers use high-strength adhesives to keep labels on plastic. Whether you can’t remove a sticker or want to clean up the residue, there are several ways, from peanut butter to rubbing alcohol that could work for you.
Method 1 of 3:
Using Oils for Removal
- Soak the label in cooking oil. Submerge the plastic in a container of cooking oil for 12 to 24 hours. Canola, vegetable, and other oils will soak into the sticker and loosen the adhesive. This will make it easier to remove later. You can try the method again if it doesn’t work the first time and then gently peel the sticker off with a razor blade.
- If you are not able to soak the item in oil, then you can also use a cooking oil spray on it.
You can easily remove a sticker from hard plastic using a variety of products, including rubbing alcohol, degreaser, peanut butter, or a mixture of baking soda and olive oil. Apply the product to the plastic, let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub the sticker off using a rag.
- Put peanut butter on the sticker residue. The oils in peanut butter will break down many adhesives. Cover the sticker in a thin layer of peanut butter—any type of peanut butter will do. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a sponge and warm, soapy water.
- Use mayonnaise. The oil in the mayonnaise breaks down the sticky residue leftover from the sticker. Any type of mayonnaise will work for removal. Rub some mayonnaise over the residue. Allow it to sit for fifteen minutes. Then, wipe it off with a dry cloth.
- You may have to repeat this process if the residue is thick or does not come off the first time.
Method 2 of 3:
Removing with Chemical Solutions
- Rub the sticker with lacquer thinner. This is a stronger solution, so you will only need to soak the sticker for 5 to 10 minutes. After you’ve let it soak, scrape up the sticker with a broad, flat item for an adhesive-free clean up. Some specialty products, like Goo Gone, function similarly.
- Lift the adhesive with rubbing alcohol. Get a carton of isopropyl alcohol—preferably a 90% solution. Pour a small amount on a rag and begin wiping the adhesive. The adhesive should begin to lift after a minute or so of scrubbing.
- Spray a degreaser onto the sticker. You can use a degreaser like WD-40 to wipe away the sticker. First, test the WD-40 on a patch of the plastic to make sure that it won’t harm the sticker if you plan to keep it. Then, spray degreaser on a clean cloth or directly on the sticky label or glue residue. Rub in a circular motion with a towel until the sticker pulls away.
- Soak the sticker in nail polish remover. Soak the sticker in a container of nail polish remover. If you don’t have enough nail polish remover, you can apply the remover with a cloth and scrub away the sticker. The sticker will be easier to remove if you give it a few minutes for the remover to react.
Method 3 of 3:
Removing Leftover Adhesive
- Use baking soda and warm water or oil to remove goo. Mix together a paste with 3 Tbs of baking soda and a small amount of water or oil (about 2 Tbs). Then use the paste and a cloth to scrub away the adhesive. If it is not coming off, wipe the paste on the adhesive and let it set for several minutes.
- Use table salt and a wet wipe. Apply a small amount of table salt to make the adhesive harden. Then, use a disinfectant wet wipe on the sticker until it begins to peel away. You may need to use several wet wipes.
- Rub an eraser over the residue. A regular eraser meant to remove pencil is okay to use. Vigorously rub the residue with an eraser until it begins to lift. Continue until most or all of the residue is removed. If there is still some left, you can use a blade to remove it.
- Use a blade. It is better to use a plastic blade to remove residue. You can find blades specifically made for removing stickers on Amazon or similar websites. Search for label and sticker removers. Work the tip of the blade under the residue. Then, move the blade back and forth until the residue begins to come off. Continue using the blade until most or all of the residue has been removed.
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